Jungle Trekking

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Lisu
 

Some 20,000 Lisu live in the area.   Like the Karen they are of Tibetan/Burmese extraction, moving into Thailand 100 or so years ago

Their religion is animist and they are very superstitious.  Every home is protected by an ancestral altar and totems are erected in villages and campsites

  Each village has a folk healer and an exorcist

It was Christmas Day and we were very happy to arrive in the village of our Thai guide and settle into the home of his mother
 
Early the next morning the village was alive with the activity of another working day.   We on the other hand with no trek scheduled were looking forward to some rest and relaxation to recover from our Christmas feast the previous day
For generations women have been tending the main cash crop, opium. We saw no evidence of it's use, the drug of choice appearing to be the betle nut with which most of the older generations mouths were stained black

The truck bringing in beer for the visitors also brought a rare treat in the form of ice lollypops
The women of the village were fascinated by beards and enjoyed the beard pulling somewhat more than it's owner
 

Ahley, our delightful Thai guide, as we never expected to see him.  The Lisu are a handsome people, perhaps the best looking of all the tribes.  The men produce crossbows, musical instruments, bird and animal traps of wood, bamboo and rattan

Ahleh's sister.   Lisu women make their clothing of brightly coloured cloth.   They wear multi coloured tunics with a wide black belt and  pants.    Sleeves shoulders and cuffs are heavily embroidered with narrow bands of blue. red and yellow.

 

 Resplendent in their heavy silver beaded bodices and necklaces, the young women of the village taught us their dance.  On new years eve they glide around the village accompanied by a musician, dancing all night to traditional music containing a coded language for courting couples

The instrument, the naw or hulusheng has five pipes attached to a gourd.  It is a difficult instrument to master and produces a loud and lively sound

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